Too much to do, too little time to create
It was the end of a long day and my artist friend and I took turns apologizing for yawning through dinner, cross-eyed from too many days of busy-ness. Like usual, our conversation turned to the art projects we’ve been working on. Kathleen mentioned a new watercolor series she was thinking about starting.
“I wonder how I could carry color from one painting to the next?”
Suddenly, we both perked up. My favorite conversations start with, “I wonder how…” This question invites curiosity, creativity, and new possibilities to explore. Ideas were flying about color and technique. Suddenly, we were both energized as the creative possibilities bubbled up. We could hardly talk fast enough!
How to perk up your creativity
It gave me an idea to share with you some of the ways I bring creativity into my life when there isn’t enough time to make art. If your projects are languishing untouched, and your to-do list is long, I hope these ideas inspire you.
Tip 1: Ask artistic friends what they’ve been creating lately.
This is an enlivening topic of conversation for creative people. It opens up a world of discovery when you ask about what’s on someone’s easel or needles or workbench.
Tip 2: Talk about what you would make if you had more time.
This is the creative person’s variation on the “what would you do if you won the lottery.” Even when life intrudes, you can take your creativity to the hypothetical world where you have lots of free time and no other commitments. What would you create? What techniques or mediums would you like to experiment with?
Tip 3: Ask “I wonder what would happen if…”
In the case of Kathleen’s project, she was considering a larger question about color-blending techniques. Although her medium is watercolor, I shared about creating gradients with yarn (alternating rows of the previous color and the next color) and seed beads (increasing and decreasing percentages of colors). It gave us both a new appreciation for how widely-different media create similar visual impact. Wondering out loud is juicy!
Tip 4: Sign up for an in-person class. If there is a physical location to visit and people waiting for me, it really does make me prioritize creating. I’m nearly finished with a complicated quilt because I enrolled in a class with a friend.
Tip 5: Offer a class.
This is one way to really force yourself to create even when the stack of mail beckons. Teaching a class means creating samples and showing up in person to assist others. If you have access to space and a local following, this is a great way to get out of a rut and have fun creating. It’s an extra bonus that I often learn as much from the students as they do from me.
How do you fit creativity into your busy life?
Do you have ways to bring more creativity into your life when it’s busy? I’d love to know about it in the comment section!